Everyone loves a mint julep and a fancy hat. However, it's rare that horse racing takes center stage on social media, let alone does it twice in about a month. First, it was the controversial result of a Kentucky Derby where the winner was disqualified. Over the weekend, the 144th Preakness Stakes had a surprise winner as well. Sure, War of Will technically won the race, but Bodexpress won the hearts of viewers everywhere.
Out of the gate, Bodexpress tossed jockey John Velazquez from the saddle. But that was no big whoop for Bodexpress. The horse carried on as though nothing had changed. It ran the race all the way through the finish line. The result was Bodexpress instantly became social media's favorite to win the race, because it's not often you see a horse with no jockey battling to win a race.
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The Hall-of-Fame jockey was, fortunately, not injured in the fall. "He wasn't behaving well in the gate," Velazquez told NBC during the broadcast. "Obviously, when the doors opened, I was [thrown] off. I lost my balance and went off. I'm disappointed."
His disappointment didn't stop the enthusiasm from spilling over elsewhere. On the surface, how could you not cheer for the riderless horse? It was -- if you're able to ignore questions about the treatment of race horses -- a thrilling sensation. It was untameable and free like you imagine animals to be as a kid. Run, horse, run! Be free! Go live in a forest with the other talking creatures!
As noted by the Sporting News, Bodexpress was disqualified the moment it threw off its jockey. So, as much as everyone was pulling for a jockey-less victory, it was never going to happen. Nonetheless, live like Bodexpress, and don't let the rules keep you down. Cheer for a jockey-less horse if you want to.
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